US Coins

Coronet cent graded brown, but it's not without red

Early large cents ruled Ira and Larry Goldberg’s Feb. 12 pre-Long Beach auction.

Included was a set of 150 large cents from the collection of Haig Koshkarian emphasizing varieties listed in the accessible A Guide Book of United States Coins (or to most collectors, simply the “Red Book”) along with 85 early large cents from copper dealer Tom Reynolds. Pierre Fricke’s Color Set offered a showing of the wide variety of colors found on early American copper coins and Charles Heck’s collection featured over 100 1794 Liberty Cap cents.

Finally, Bruce Tucker’s collection of 1816 to 1857 large cents rounded out the offerings. The Goldbergs offered separate sessions with additional U.S. coins, as well as world and ancient coins. 

Here is one of three large cents sold during the Goldberg’s sale that we profile in this Market Analysis.

The Lot:

1827 Coronet cent, Mint State 63 brown

The Price:


The Story:

Third-party grading services and the rare coin market generally group Mint State United States copper coins into three color categories: red, red and brown, and brown. An 1827 Coronet cent graded PCGS MS-63 brown from Dr. Tucker’s collection shows that a brown color designation does not mean that some original Mint red can’t remain in the protected areas.

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The example of the relatively common Newcomb 11 variety was described as, “Lustrous light brown with darker steel brown toning on the high points and traces of faded mint red showing on both sides, mostly on the obverse.” The description further noted, “The obverse appears choice to the unaided eye” and when offered in 2005 by Heritage as part of the Rasmussen Collection it was graded MS-64 brown by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Coronet cent

Coronet large cent: John D. Wright, cataloger extraordinaire of the large cents of 1816 to 1839, writes that Middle Dates offer "more bang-for-the-buck than the ones either before (too many bucks) or after (not enough bang)." How much are Coronet large cents worth?

A few spots on the reverse and some faint obverse hairline scratches ultimately limit the grade. The lustrous cent brought $2,585.

Keep Reading Analysis of Large Cents Sold by Goldberg:

1793 Liberty Cap large centThis 1793 Liberty Cap cent featuring a hard-to-miss die crack tops $199K at auction: As cataloger Bob Grellman observed: “Glossy medium to dark chocolate brown and steel with lighter brown toning in a few of the protected areas. The surfaces are smooth, void of any trace of corrosion or verdigris.”

1794 Liberty Cap large centTom Reynolds lets go of gold-stickered ‘essentially flawless’ Liberty Cap cent: “It’s obvious this cent never saw any circulation, but it may have a touch of ‘cabinet friction’ on the obverse.”

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